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    Power outage FAQs

    Lightning storm over city Power outage FAQs

    AES Indiana invests in our equipment and technology to create a stronger, safer and more efficient electrical system every day.

    We know that our customers depend on us to provide the electricity they need to power their lives. We believe the best time to fix a power outage is before it ever happens. That’s why we design our system with built-in reliability measures, and we conduct routine inspection and maintenance programs like pole inspections and line clearance. 

    Learn more about AES Indiana’s reliability

     

    Outage communication

    Does AES Indiana know my power is out?

    AES Indiana’s outage technology relies on a combination of customer outage reports and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI, also referred to as smart meters) to understand which customers do not have power.

    Smart meters are not yet available for all customers, so if you experience a power outage, please report your outage on our website or call our Lights Out Day and Night Line at 317-261-8111, available 24/7.

    Please don’t assume we know your power is out if you have not reported it or received an outage alert (if enrolled). Data provided by our customers is important to help us analyze the outage to find the location and cause.

    What’s the best way to get information about my outage?

    Sign up for outage alerts on our alerts & notifications center. AES Indiana offers alerts by email, text and automated phone calls. We’ll alert you when we know you have an outage and send updates if your estimated time of restoration (ETR) changes, and when your power is restored.

    You can also get your latest ETR by calling our Lights Out Day and Night Line at 317-261-8111. Or, view our online outage map where you can see all current power outages.

    When outages impact a large number of customers, AES Indiana may communicate restoration updates for the public on social media. For information about your individual outage, please reach out using the contacts noted above. Please note, AES Indiana social media is monitored during normal business hours Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM-5:00 PM.

    My power is out. Why isn’t there a dot over my home on your outage map?

    The outage locations displayed on our outage map are approximate. The dots are related to the equipment causing the outage, not necessarily the location of the customers who are impacted. For example, your outage may be caused by a downed tree a few blocks away, or by an animal at a substation a few miles away.

    What if I can’t get through to report my outage over the phone?

    During a widespread outage, please call us at 317-261-8111 to report your outage, or report it online. If you have a downed line or need to speak with a customer service agent, please call and stay on the line. We typically receive more calls than normal during these circumstances, so we appreciate customers’ patience as we work to assist all customers.

    Crews from AES Indiana are working in my neighborhood. Can I ask them about the outage?

    Please do not approach AES Indiana crews as they are working. Our crews perform difficult and dangerous work, sometimes in adverse conditions. Please allow them the focus on their work so they can restore your power safely.

    Estimated Time of Restoration (ETR)

    What’s an estimated time of restoration?

    When AES Indiana responds to an outage, we use our system data and information from our crews in the field to estimate when we will be able to get the power back on for customers. We work hard to meet or beat the times we provide, but it’s important to keep in mind that these are estimates based on the best available information. Sometimes conditions change or we may need to bring in additional crews or equipment and outages may last longer than our original estimate.

    How do I find my ETR?

    The most convenient way to learn your ETR, if available, is to sign up for outage alerts. Choose how you would like to be communicated with – email, text or automated phone calls.

    Customers can also call our Lights Out Day or Night Line at 317-261-8111. The automated phone system will provide ETRs, if an estimate is assigned to your outage.

    Why isn’t an ETR available for my outage?

    Sometimes we are not able to provide an estimated restoration time. Unfortunately, this is often the case following major storms that impact a lot of customers, because of the number of incidents we need to address. In these cases, we cannot provide good estimates until the incident has been assessed and we have assigned a crew to the job.

    Why did my ETR change?

    When outages are reported, our system assigns an ETR based on past outage restoration times. As crews are assigned and we learn more about the cause of the outage, we will make updates if we think we’ll need additional time to restore power.

    Outage alerts

    Why does the Alerts & Notifications page say outage updates are in “beta?”

    AES Indiana’s goal is to empower our customers to receive information relevant to them. As part of our public beta mode, we’re allowing users to sign up for outage alerts while we refine the notifications. Please note that beta versions are early versions and may have minor issues. AES Indiana will continue to test in public beta mode and make updates to improve your experience.

    My power went out for a few minutes then came back on. Why didn’t I receive an outage alert?

    AES Indiana will wait fifteen minutes after an outage begins before we send customers an outage alert. This gives us time to analyze reports and avoid sending multiple alerts to customers who experience momentary outages.

    Why did I receive an alert when my power did not go out?

    As AES Indiana receives outage alerts from customers, our system predicts the equipment that is impacted, and which customers do not have power. If you get an alert and your power is still on, please disregard the message — you do not need to call us. As we get more information, our system will make corrections and we will not send additional outage updates.

    I received an alert that said my ETR is no longer valid. What happened?

    If an event happens that causes a lot of customers to lose power, the customers who lose power first will receive automated ETRs from our outage system. As additional outage reports come in, AES Indiana will need additional time to understand how many customers are impacted, prioritize restoration efforts, and assess damage. AES Indiana will stop issuing automated ETRs and will inform customers who got an early ETR that we will not be able to meet it.

    This happens most often when major wind or ice storms cause damage to our system. ETRs will be updated as crews are assigned, and damage is assessed.

    Outage restoration

    What is the cause of my power outage?

    Power outages can be caused by many different things. If you receive email outage alerts from AES Indiana, your “power is restored” email will include a short cause description. You can find more details about outage causes below.

    Outage Cause

    Description

    No cause determined

    When the outage was restored, AES Indiana was unable to find the root cause of the incident. This was likely an animal or tree branch coming in contact with our lines but leaving no evidence behind to confirm.

    Trees/branches on lines

    Trees and branches falling on lines are a common cause of power outages. AES Indiana regularly trims trees away from lines to help prevent power outages, but it’s important to note that many power outages are caused by mature trees falling on lines from locations outside our trim zone.

    Animal impacting equipment

    Animals cause thousands of power outages each year impacting electric equipment. Squirrels may chew on lines, snakes can be attracted by the warmth of a substation transformer, and birds like to build nests on our equipment. While AES Indiana installs guards and works to prevent access, some animals are still able to impact service from time to time.

    External incident

    External incidents are outages caused by people not associated with AES Indiana. The most common causes are vehicle accidents, contractors digging into underground lines and tree trimmers dropping trees/branches on overhead lines.

    Weather-related

    Severe weather impacts our system and can cause power outages. Ice, high winds and lightning are especially troublesome. It’s important to have an emergency kit and outage plan in case severe weather impacts your service.

    Overhead equipment

    Overhead equipment damage can include downed lines, issues with transformers, broken poles and more.

    Underground equipment

    Locating faults on underground power lines tends to be more time-consuming because our crews cannot visually determine what caused the outage. Special equipment is required for fault location and the restoration efforts can be lengthened if temporary switching sources are not available.

    Substation equipment

    Substation equipment adjusts the transmission line voltage to lower levels that are appropriate for the main distribution lines that deliver electricity to your home or business. Issues at a substation typically impact many customers, but AES Indiana works to isolate and switch circuits to restore service quickly.

    Miscellaneous

    While “miscellaneous” can include a wide variety of infrequent issues, the most common miscellaneous outage occurs when AES Indiana must cause a brief outage to avoid working on energized equipment to safely make repairs.

    Customer request

    Customers may request a temporary outage for safety reasons. This is usually for electrical or tree maintenance work at a customer’s home or business.

    Planned work

    While the majority of AES Indiana’s distribution work is done energized, in some instances we need an outage to safely perform the work. We strive to notify customers in advance in most cases.

    How does AES Indiana prioritize who gets power restored first?

    AES Indiana always works to restore your power as quickly and safely as possible. Our power restoration process is designed to address emergency situations first and then to restore power to as many customers as possible.

    There’s a line down on my property. What should I do?

    Stay away! Assume it is live and keep children and pets away. Report it by calling 317-261-8111. If the situation becomes an emergency, such as a fire, call 911. If you are cleaning up debris after a storm, do not remove tree limbs near downed.

    Learn more

    Why don’t I see an AES Indiana truck in my neighborhood?

    Just because you don’t see one of our trucks, that doesn’t mean we’re not working to restore your power. Outages are caused by a variety of reasons, and the cause may be in someone’s back yard a few blocks away, or at a substation a few miles away. If you experience a power outage, please be sure to report it to us, and we’ll work as quickly and safely as possible to get you back up and running.

    Why do my neighbors across the street continue to have power but I don’t?

    Often, customers on different sides of a street are supplied power from separate connections. If a problem occurs with one of those connections customers on that line may lose power while customers on another connection may still have power.

    illustration of a neighborhood showing how lines connect from different directions
    Does AES Indiana haul away tree limbs and branches after a storm?

    When unplanned tree trimming is necessary during a storm or outage situation, AES Indiana crews do not remove the debris. Our crews will make the area safe, but then must work quickly to restore power to all customers.

    In these situations, call your community's public works department, private trash collectors or a professional tree-removal service for advice regarding the disposal of brush and other debris.

    Who repairs damage to the electrical equipment connecting to my home?

    At a typical customer location, there is a service line that connects through a masthead, service entrance cable and meter box. In many instances, there is only a service entrance cable and meter box. AES Indiana installs and maintains the service line. The customer owns and is responsible for the meter box, service entrance cable and masthead.

    If the meter box, service entrance cable and/or masthead are damaged, AES Indiana will make every effort to reconnect your service. However, there are times when the damage is too extensive and AES Indiana service cannot be connected for safety reasons.

    In these cases, you will need to contact a qualified electrician to make the necessary repairs. In some instances, an inspection may be required before AES Indiana is permitted to connect your service.

    Diagram of a house and the electrical hook up
    Does AES Indiana provide vouchers for food that spoils after an extended outage?

    AES Indiana does not provide vouchers for food that spoils due to a power outage. We offer tips and information to help you be prepared and keep your food safe on our website.

    Learn more

    Will AES Indiana reimburse me for any personal losses I may have incurred in my home as a result of an outage due to weather?

    No. AES Indiana does not reimburse for losses caused by events outside of our control, including adverse weather. We recommend you work with your insurance provider for reimbursement of personal losses. We also recommend using devices such as surge protectors and uninterruptible power supply (UPS) to protect sensitive electronics. 

    Learn more

    I have a special medical condition and rely on electricity to keep medical equipment running. What should I do if I lose power?

    It’s important to have a plan in place in case of a power outage, especially if you have a special medical condition. You may contact AES Indiana to let us know of your condition and we can note it on your account. However, AES Indiana cannot guarantee you priority restoration, and you need to have a backup plan in place, such as using a generator or staying with a friend or family member. 

    Learn more

    Can I hook up a generator to my home?

    Yes, as long as you take steps to ensure you’re connecting it safely and following all instructions in your owner’s manual. It’s also important to operate your generator outside of your home and away from windows to prevent carbon monoxide from entering your home. 

    Learn more

    Can I use an extension cord from my neighbor who has power until my power is restored?

    No. Using extension cords to reach from one home to another could be a safety issue, because you are exposing those extension cords to many things that could damage them (people walking or driving vehicles over the cords, weather conditions and more). Any damage to the insulation of an extension cord could expose people to electrical shocks and burns.

    Why can’t all power lines go underground? Wouldn’t that keep storms from knocking out power?

    Burying all of the power lines that serve our customers would be very expensive — roughly $1 million per mile. These costs would be passed along to our customers in the form of higher rates. While placing power lines underground may result in fewer storm-related outages overall, outages do occur on underground power lines. Locating faults on underground power lines tends to be more time-consuming because our crews cannot visually determine what caused the outage. Special equipment is required for fault location and the restoration efforts can be lengthened since excavation is typically involved to repair the service.

    AES Indiana continually investigates and evaluates the most cost-effective methods to enhance and "harden" our system. We must consider detailed cost benefit analysis to ensure we provide the safe, reliable service our customers expect and deserve while doing so in such a manner that high costs do not negatively impact our customers' rates.

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